Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bullying Epidemic-a new perspective with Josie Ann

I had the pleasure of doing an interview for Josie Ann on my book,

'The Bullying Epidemic-the guide to arm you for the fight'.  

She is the talented book reviewer  from EBook Addict  book blog.  Here is the interview:

1. In your book, "The Bullying Epidemic", you stated, "Parents need to be proactive," how would you advise a parent to handle a situation if their child was being bullied?  What if their child was the bully?

I'd like to preface this by pointing out that today's bullies are not the same bullies that the parents may remember.  It frustrates me to hear a parent or teacher minimize the abuse by saying something like, "Boys will be boys." or "They'll sort this out- it's just kid stuff."

Today's bully has evolved.  They are more sophisticated with a wider reach- thanks to the help of technology.  Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are being used as weapons of terrorism. These bullies are unrelenting with a cruelty that is alarming.  They can inflict 24 hour torture.  This reflects in the rise in suicide among children that were bullied.  And let's not forget the children that just "snap" from the abuse and become violent.  The majority of school shootings have been linked to bullying. Parents need to recognize the warning signs, intervene immediately when bullying occurs and send the message that bullying wrong and will not be tolerated.

At the first sign of bullying: Report the incident to the right person (the school might consider identifying an official contact, who may be the school administrator, or a member of the school safety committee). Find out the school policy on bullying.  If there is none in place, the parent can share these guidelines:

Intervene immediately. Separate the students involved. Do not immediately ask about or discuss the reason for the bullying or try to sort out the facts. Request more information.  Get the facts. Speak to students involved (participants and observers) in the incident separately and ask what happened. Tell the students you are aware of their behavior. Talk to the students involved separately. Make it a teachable experience.  Helping bystanders understand what has happened and why may be important for preventing future incidents.

And always, always follow up!

For the Student Who Was Bullied:

Check in regularly with the student.
Determine whether the bullying still continues
Provide a supportive environment
Review the school rules and policies with the student to ensure they are aware of their rights and protection
Consider referring them for professional or other services as appropriate

For the Student Who Bullied Others

Identify the behavior
Review the school rules and policies with the student
Ask for positive change in future behavior
Consider referring them for professional or other services as appropriate
Consider appropriate graduated consequences
Encourage the student to channel their influence and behavior into positive leadership roles
Monitor and check in frequently

2. At what age did you become a victim of bullying?

I was seven years old.  I was a shy child and being bullied was an extremely traumatic experience.  I cried for hours when I wrote this book.  During those two years, my life was sad and lonely. It robbed me of my childhood innocence. 

3. What are ways, in your opinion, that people can bring awareness to bullying?

Everyone needs to step up to the plate.  As in the wise African proverb, "It takes a whole village to raise a child."  If you suspect abuse- investigate. 

Speak up! If you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

4. Now in your book, you mentioned that bullying can begin in Pre-Kindergarten.  In my opinion, that's a very young age; where do you think children at the young of an age learn such a thing?

In today's society, from children's television to movies and games, mean behavior is glamorized. Speaker and author Barbara Coloroso ( claims we are living in a “culture of mean.”   She says it’s imperative to acknowledge bullying regardless of age because the behavior often progresses.

5. Have you been in contact with any of the people who used to bully you?  

No. I have no desire to see any of those people. I'm quite sure they have grown up to be adult bullies.

6. Lastly, what advice would you give to someone who is being bullied?

Tell an adult you trust-your parent, teacher, counselor. If your teachers don't do anything, talk to your principal. Telling is not tattling.  If you stay silent you only protect the bully and leave the victim in harms way. 

 Speak up against bullying. Say something like, “Stop it.”
Walk away. Act like you do not care, even if you really do.
Stick together. Staying with a group might help.

Always remember...You are not alone.  It is not your fault. Nobody should be bullied! Talk to someone you trust.  Do not hurt yourself. Do not bully back. Do not bully anyone else.  Do not let the bully win.  Keep doing what you love to do.

There are some great websites with resources and advice.

7) What book are you currently reading?

That would be books-plural.  I have very eclectic taste in my books.  Right now I am reading Two Graves by D.A. Graystone.  Ironically it's about a serial killer who "snapped" due to bullying.  I'm also reading 'The Love You Crave' by John Locke.  It's a crazy adventure with a hit man and a host of unique characters.  And I just started reading 'The Raised' a paranormal, supernatural adventure by Allen Renfro.  I do love the paranormal.

8) Do you have a certain amount of books you would like to read or write for the year of 2012?

I will read as many as I can devour.  I love to read.  I write book reviews too-but only for books that I really like. I won't write a bad review.  There are enough mean critics out there.  Just kidding!  I know there is a place for constructive criticism but I'd rather not be that person.

9) What or who inspired you to become an author?

The books that I read as a child opened a whole new universe for me.  I read books like 'Jungle Book' and ' Ali -Baba and the Forty Thieves and felt like had I traveled to exotic places like India and ancient Persia. Even books like the Trixie Belden series and Nancy Drew were like windows to different worlds and lifestyles outside of my own. 

10) Are you currently working on any novels?  If so, can you tell us about them? 

Yes, I am working on the second book in the 'Magical Adventure' saga.  It's a young adult, paranormal adventure.  There are ghosts and mysticism along with more adventures in astral projection.  I am also working on "Vacation Gone Wild", which is a fun romance adventure novel, based in Spain. I would say it probably leans toward the 'Chick Lit' genre'.  

 Thanks so much Josie!

You can find Josie's book blog,
eBook Addict  here 

You can find Josie's heartfelt blog, 
In This Moment here 

You can find Josie on Goodreads here

You can find Josie on Facebook here

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Black Witch- she's truly irresistible

As I started reading 'The Black Witch', I was transported to another time and place.    As I met the characters and followed them on their journey, I was drawn in by their idiosyncrasies and flaws. And then the subsequent nightmare than ensued...

Dorian Coe and his wife, Diana are the first to discover 'The Black Witch', while shopping around for a sailing vessel.  They are immediately put under her spell and are willing to sacrifice their life savings to have her.  It's an evil spell that no one can resist. The scenes are so vividly depicted; I almost fell under the spell myself.

When Dorian tells his friend Gale about his 'find', and brings him to see the vessel, he is inexplicably drawn to her, as well.  Obsession sets in.  They must have her.  Even with the dire warnings given in the logbooks- nothing matters but 'The Black Witch'.

They invite a group of friends to join them as passengers to celebrate The Black Witch's first launch. They head out into the mysterious open sea. It isn't long before pure evil rears its ugly head. Slowly each horrified passenger comes to the realization that they are doomed and there is nothing they can do about it.  Even the woman with strange powers is no match for the powerful force driving 'The Black Witch'.

Interview with the author- Micheal Rivers

There are so many intricate details describing the 'Black Witch'.  Are you a sailing man yourself?

A: I grew up on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I have always had a great love for tall ships. For me they hold a beauty like no other.

Was there any personal inspiration for this story?

A: The inspiration for The Black Witch came from a culmination of the character of the Bankers (residents of the Outer Banks) and a long and hard won sense of pride. Tales of the sea are not uncommon there with superstitions and spirits to fill the stories that are passed from generation to generation.

Do you believe in psychic ability and astral projection?

A: I do believe in psychic abilities but I am still looking into Astral Projection. I have known several people who had abilities that were beyond question. A family I know well lost 13 members of their family in four months. These deaths ranged from SIDS to heart attacks and cancer. The woman predicted all of them by name except for one. She said she could not see the face of the unnamed person.
I really enjoyed your writing and I can't believe that this was your debut novel.  Whenever I read a book with such intense imagery, I am always in awe.  Do you have a special process that you go through when writing? 

A: Yes I do. I set up my story board before I ever do an actual outline. At this point a Pepsi and a cigarette come into play and the story starts to roll. The outline is basic and changes as the story progresses. I found for me, sticking to a singular outline, or thought does not let my story take a life of its own. The story has full control of the outcome.

This is a book that should be made into a movie.  Have you considered selling the screen rights?

A: If anyone was interested in putting the story on screen I would be honored. At this time I have not been approached with an offer.

I can't wait to read your other books, but I would love to know what happens next!  Any chance of a sequel?

A: I am going to be doing a sequel to The Black Witch. I have had a lot of readers request it so I will grant their wish. I thank them for requesting it. To me that is a great compliment. Surprise!!! I am actually working on the sequel now. The main character is named Drummond Fowl.

Buy 'The Black Witch' here.  
Follow Micheal on Twitter here.   
Visit Micheal's website here.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

It's a celebration!

I finally published 'Life Changes'.  It's the second book in the 'The Boy and The Girl' saga.  To celebrate I am going to award one lucky person with a Nook E-Reader.  Here's the scoop:

To celebrate the second book in the saga, I am offering the first book, 'Whatever Happened to The Boy?'
for only .99 cents on bargain books for the nook.  Each person that purchases this book before 2/12/12 is automatically entered in the sweepstakes to win the Nook- just send me your receipt at  

'Whatever Happened To The Boy' is  an action packed, coming of age with the main characters Ryan & Shari going through a drama filled journey filled with violent lovers, attempted murder, sugar daddies, gay sadists and Ryan's coming out.

Happy Reading : )